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Gods of Egypt Review

By Matthew Passantino


For a brief, fleeting moment in "Gods of Egypt," I was certain I was watching my new favorite awful movie. For the first 10 to 15 minutes, the movie wavers between laughing at itself and taking everything too seriously that the unholy imbalance of tone provided a few chuckles.

What a good feeling that was, those few moments of hope during the slog that this film turned out to be. The movie's sense of humor about itself seemed too chicken to come into the foreground and quickly vanished and never returned. Director Alex Proyas gutted this movie and let its gold, metallic blood drain out (Egyptian gods bleed metallic gold, don’t you know?)

"Gods of Egypt" runs a staggering 127 minutes. That might not seem like an excessive amount of time since the average film runs anywhere between 90 and 120 minutes. For "Gods of Egypt," 127 minutes feels like a life sentence. The few measly scenes that could have made this a "so bad it’s good" kind of movie was for naught. "Gods of Egypt" is just bad.

Where screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless came up with the ideas they did, we will never know. I would love to have sat in on a writing session with these guys and been there the day someone said, "He should be riding a chariot that moves by giant beetles!" or "Lets give Geoffrey Rush's character no hair except a braided ponytail!" Yes, they got Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush to sign on to play the sun god.


What's worse about "Gods of Egypt" is not only how derivative the entire story is but that the filmmakers think they can distract us with cheap CGI trickery. You can throw your cheesy $140 million effects at us all day, Mr. Proyas, but we will not buy it. (The fact that this film cost so much to make really begs the questions of who this movie is for?)

"Gods of Egypt" is essentially - almost to a tee, really - "The Lion King". Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the son of Osiris (Bryan Brown), is about to be crowned god of Egypt. Thousands upon thousands of people have gathered to watch Horus' father bestow this honor upon him. But wait, lads and lassies, Horus' vengeful uncle Set (Gerard Butler), a Scottish Egyptian, apparently, has other plans. He kills Osiris and fights Horus for the crown. He usurps the throne by tearing Horus' eyes out from his head. Did I mention that this entire battle is done after they shape-shift into phoenix/transformer thingys? That's the fun part of "Gods of Egypt", which comes to a screeching halt thereafter.

So, we have the son, who is bequeathed a kingdom, a dead father and a villainous uncle, who has an army behind him. This is the exact description of "The Lion King", minus the emotional pull and intelligence. There were moments during "Gods of Egypt" that I was praying for a singing meerkat and warthog and given how ludicrous the entire film is, I thought it was entirely possible.

After Set takes the throne, it must be avenged. A common thief, Bek (Brenton Thwaites), teams up with Horus to exact revenge upon Set. Their quest to find him and take him down is the undisputable bore of this movie, which happens to be about 90-percent of the film. When the movie hit the hour mark, I was shocked I still had over an hour to go.

The whole movie looks cheap and may have been impressive if it were released in 2002. The effects are dingy and distracting and the movie is one big sensory overload. From the overbearing score to the in-your-face flashes of gold and fire, "Gods of Egypt" will leave you with a headache.

As I end this review, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that a studio exec gave this movie $140 million, with the hopes of it being viable. I'm assuming the budget is so high because of all the spray-on tan that was needed for the entire cast?


What did you think?

Movie title Gods of Egypt
Release year 2016
MPAA Rating PG-13
Our rating
Summary For a brief moment, this overblown mess was so bad it was good. It quickly became just bad.
View all articles by Matthew Passantino
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